You’ve decided to build. Congratulations!
Starting this process can be daunting and stressful, the most important thing is to not get overwhelmed and take this process step by step. To help we have put together a few tips to prepare you for your first meeting with an Architect.
Make sure you provide the location of your property to the Architect. A site in a Special Area of Conservation will have different demands than a site in the middle of Wexford town, for example.
It is also important that the Architect knows about the topography of your site, is it sloped?, is it flat? In reality, we have to design around what is existing on the site or around any existing properties. If you have photos of the site please bring them to the first meeting.
Provide as much site information as you can at the beginning, this will assist the Architect in having a good first impression of the challenges involved. If you have survey drawings, ordnance survey maps, or existing plans, please bring them to the first meeting.
One of the best things you can do to ensure a successful first meeting is to spend time thinking about what do you want. This would be your wish list and Architects call it the ‘Brief’.
The brief describes the requirements you have – the Architect will endeavor to fulfill the brief during the design process. The brief does not need to be fully developed for the first meeting but it is helpful that you can give the Architect an overall indication of what you are trying to achieve.
Don’t be afraid to bring example pictures of designs you like – explaining and showing what you like will give your Architect direction and inspiration. What you don’t like is also important, make sure you share this with your Architect.
The planning stage can be confusing if you are not familiar with the process.
The Planning and Development Act 2000 introduced the convenience of Pre-Planning consultations between potential applicants who have an interest in the land and the planning authority. This is a service free of charge.
Having a Pre-Planning consultation with a planner will give clarity on what can be achieved for your proposed development. This is not an absolute requirement for your first meeting with an Architect but it could be helpful to have it done as it may speed up the process.
You can follow this link to the Wexford planning department explaining everything you need to know about Pre-Planning Consultations:
Before starting anything it is important to look at your finances and have a clear set budget. Your Architect will need to know this as early as possible to design within your financial limits. Having a budget in place early in the process will set you and your architect in the right direction from the word go. When dealing with a tight budget be clear in explaining what is most important to you. The architect can take this information and priorities into your design.
If setting a budget is too difficult just let the Architect know this. Architects can work without a budget, and as soon as the Concept Design is developed they can estimate what budget you will need.
Be Prepared With Questions
Ask as many questions as you can to make sure you leave the meeting satisfied, leave no stone unturned as they say. As Architects, we listen and answer a lot of questions, no question is too silly when it comes to this industry.
Hopefully, this information will put you on the right path when beginning your new project.
Get in touch with us by email at email@example.com or phone 053 916 8942 to schedule your first meeting with an Architect.